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President's Message

april 2021 

March Madness, Council Elections, FIT to FACC and ACC.21 Scientific Sessions

Hello Maryland ACC Colleagues!

I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I am a non-invasive cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, a wife, and a mother of two children (6 and 3 years old), an avid sports fan and a proud first generation South Asian immigrant. As the newly elected President of the Maryland Chapter of the ACC, I have huge shoes to fill. Joseph Marine, MD, FACC moves up to be the Chair of the ACC Board of Governors. The Chair represents all the ACC Governors/Chapters and it is indeed a very proud moment for Maryland ACC to have Dr. Marine serve on the ACC Board of Trustees in this capacity. We thank Dr. Marine for his tremendous leadership, advocacy and stewardship, and his mentorship to the junior members of the Council!

One year of COVID-19: As I write this, Governor Hogan has lifted the statewide COVID-19 restrictions and rolled out his expeditious vaccination plans. As Marylanders sign-up for their vaccines, we remember the lives lost in the past year. We are humbly reminded of the collective impact of the scientific community and the sacrifices of those in healthcare. As we return to some semblance of normalcy, we should continue to practice the social masking and distancing guidelines as per the CDC.

Council Elections: We are seeking interested candidates for several openings on our Maryland State ACC Council for a two-year term beginning this spring. A description of the responsibilities of the position is here. For anyone interested, please submit a brief (one paragraph) statement of interest and CV to Jennifer at jennifer@marylandacc.org by Tuesday, April 6. Thank you for considering serving in this important Chapter position. Please feel free to contact Chapter Executive Jennifer Ray Beckman (jennifer@marylandacc.org or me (gsharma8@jhmi.edu) for more information. This is an excellent way to micro-volunteer and get involved with the ACC. If you have been thinking about how to make an impact in your practice and within your state at the grassroots level, I urge you to consider applying!

FIT to FACC: To celebrate our wonderful FITs and their achievements, the MDACC is hoping to host a fun, outdoor event to celebrate the achievements of our cardiology FITs, especially during very difficult times, and as they transition into their new roles are early career physicians at their respective practices and institutions. Each year, MDACC Chapter welcomes the new FACCs as they transition from training to practice. Stay tuned for more information.

ACC.21 Scientific Sessions: The American College of Cardiology's 70th Annual Scientific Session & Expo is now an ALL VIRTUAL experience streaming live May 15 – 17, 2021, with “On Demand” access. Due to travel restrictions the decision has had to be made to transition the meeting from a hybrid model to entirely virtual. But it promises to be great educational experience. For more information on registration, please click here.

In spirit of March Madness, and largely as an effort to keep fit during the dreary winter, the Women Cardiologists Committee led by Catherine Bennett, MD, FACC, launched its own fitness bracket. A link to the bracket is here. The goal is to move more together, be it running, walking, jogging, Zumba or any sport for about 30 minutes or more. We will announce three lucky winners who have accrued the maximum exercise in the coming days. WIC members, be sure to turn in your exercise bracket!

Lastly, I am deeply humbled to serve the College and the Maryland Chapter for the next three years. As the famous words of the late poet Maya Angelou go, “You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.” I recognize the service of all those who came before me (click here to view) and I look to the future with great hope and determination to serve the Chapter with a spirit of camaraderie and collaboration. And as always, please send MDACC leadership and staff your comments, questions, and suggestions to president@marylandacc.org.

Garima Sharma, MD, FACC

Congress All Ears on Telehealth Expansion Post-Pandemic 

With Medicare and many private payers now covering an expanded list of telehealth services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress continues to wrestle with post-pandemic virtual care, particularly around quality of care and patient safety, privacy and security, and appropriate payment. Several key House and Senate committees have met to discuss options. Most recently, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing this week to discuss the expansion of access to telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries. This continues to be a priority issue for your ACC Advocacy team in ongoing discussions with Congress. ACC members are encouraged to help amplify these messages by meeting with lawmakers and sharing expertise and lessons learned. For help with scheduling a meeting, email advocacyleg@acc.org

Urge state legislators to SUPPORT the Preserve Telehealth Access Act of 2021

Check your inbox for a personalized action alert so that you may contact your legislators. If you prefer to call, here is the message. Find your legislators here.

CVTeam Pillars of Cardiology
Virtual Learning Series

Join the CVTeam as we explore the latest therapeutics and diagnostic techniques in the essential areas of cardiology: Heart Failure, EP, Interventional and Prevention.  Additional information and complimentary registration are here.


ACC Membership Renewal

The ACC and Chapter membership renewal deadline is just around the corner on December 10th. This year, the greater ACC community has rallied together to face unprecedented challenges to our practices and our communities. 

Be sure your voice is at the table in 2021. Our membership prices are the same. Additionally, if you’re unable to pay your full renewal amount—contact us. Your membership is worth more than a single year’s dues payment, and we’re happy to work with you on alternate payment options for 2021.

Additionally, at the Chapter level, we’ve been hard at work providing you with localized opportunities for involvement, education and networking—plus providing you with representation to lawmakers and decision makers at the local and state levels.

Keep ACC as your cardiovascular home as together we transform CV care and improve heart health.

Renew online or by calling ACC Member Care at 202-375-6000, ext. 5603.

Coronavirus and Your Heart: Don't Ignore Heart Symptoms

ACC CardioSmart recently published the infographic below to emphasize the importance of maintaining heart health through the epidemic. Click here for additional information.

Heart Health during COVID-19 path

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Maryland Chapter, American College of Cardiology
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